We live in a rapidly changing world. Whether we’re reading the latest unexpected news headline or undergoing changes in our personal lives, we must learn to continue to be conscious during rapidly accelerating shifts. A regular practice will help us remain present during these inevitable evolutions.
During these changing times, it’s essential that we reflect on what’s important in life. At thousands of years old, the Native American Code of Ethics continues to provide spiritual wisdom on living well. Living by these guidelines will help you treat others compassionately, stay in contact with yourself, and remain connected to the physical world.
The Native American Code of Ethics
1. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great Spirit will listen if you only speak.
2. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. All negative emotions like ignorance, anger, conceit, jealousy, and greed stem from a lost soul.
3. Search for yourself, by yourself. Never let others make your path for you as it is your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.
4. Treat your guests with much consideration. Always serve them the best food, give them the best bed, and treat them with respect.
5. Don’t take what’s not yours from a person or a community. It was not earned nor given.
6. Respect all the things equally, whether it’s a person or a plant.
7. Respect other people’s thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to personal expression.
8. Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative energy that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.
9. We all make mistakes, and all mistakes can be forgiven.
10. Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others if you cannot nurture and help yourself first.
11. Respect others’ religious beliefs. Do not force your belief on others.
12. Share your good fortune with others. Participate in charity.
13. Negative thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit. Practice optimism.
14. Nature is not FOR us, it is PART of us. Animals, plants, and other living creatures are all part of your family.
15. Children are the seeds of our future. Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life’s lessons. When they are grown, give them space to grow.
16. Don’t hurt others. The poison of your pain will return to you.
17. Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of one’s will within this universe.
18. Keep yourself balanced. Your Mental self, Spiritual self, Emotional self, and Physical self need to be strong, pure, and healthy. Work out the body to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.
19. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react. Take responsibility for your actions.
20. Respect the privacy and personal space of others. Do not touch the personal property of others – especially sacred and religious objects. This is forbidden.
Take the time to reflect on the Native American Code of Ethics and what tenets of it are most important to you. Through using the code to stay in contact with our bodies, hearts, and minds, we can thrive during times of change.
Dr. Deborah Ooten is the founder and director of the Conscious Living Center.